Run for your life.

Today I ran day #3 of the Couch to 5K plan.

I look like a moron when I'm out there running/struggling to make myself run/jog/walk/continue to put one foot in front of the other.

I still can't start running every time my app tells me to start running.

Guess what, though...???

I don't care.

I'm out there, I'm going to continue to get out there, and I will work my way up to my goals, slowly but surely.

Here's part of the inspiration that got me started: a friend posted this link to her facebook wall. It was exactly what I needed, EXACTLY what I needed in order to haul myself up off the couch and go. It was cold outside. I didn't own a good pair of running shoes, a sports bra, a fancy contraption to hold my smartphone, or anything else I might have formerly told myself I needed in order to start running. All I had was this big, fat, out-of-shape body and my frustration with it. I took it, and I ran with it.

This year I'm finally doing ME, and I am determined not to care what that looks like to other people. Sometimes it isn't easy.

I did my first two runs in silence, thinking I would just use the time to clear my head. It was nice, in a way; as my feet pounded the pavement, I let my mind run off ahead. I kept my eyes down, both out of embarrassment and because I didn't want to trip and face plant into the sidewalk. I thought about what I probably looked like to passersby. I'm only around 5'6'', and I weigh close to 200 lbs. I have a small frame, with narrow shoulders, and for my height and build, 200 lbs. is a lot of weight to be carrying around.

I imagined everyone antagonistic, jeering at me through their car windshields. Then, I thought about how I feel when I see fat people out running or walking. I realized my thoughts are never antagonistic. Usually, I'm thinking, "Damn! Good for him (or her). I wish that was me out there." Then I thought, okay, so more realistically, people are probably thinking,"Oh, how sweet! That pregnant lady is trying to keep exercising, even at 9 months!" Then I thought, okay, even more realistically, people probably don't even notice me out here or think anything about it if they do. The attitudes I attribute to people in my head are really just excuses to tear myself down, to hide myself away, to think less of myself. Then I thought, "Hmm...next time I'm going to make a playlist, so that I don't think so much..."

The point is, I started with nothing, not even a playlist to accompany me. I started out wearing stretchy maternity yoga pants (My only child is 4 years old, by the way.), my beloved purple New Balance tennis shoes, a raggedly t-shirt, and a black knit cap that makes me look remarkably like Angus Young. I duct taped my phone to my waistband because my pants didn't have pockets.

The important thing is that I started at all, and that I'm determined to keep going.

Today I ran along to Pandora Radio. So in addition to the maternity pants and duct tape, I was singing Nelly under my breath: "Andele, andele, mami, E I E I Oh, oh!" Certainly no less ridiculous, but a little more confident. I'll let anyone I meet think what they will. It's MY life I'm running for, after all.


nancy said...

You work it, girl. A few years ago when I started running, I couldn't do more than 10 minutes at a time before I had to stop and walk for awhile. Eventually I built up to running for and hour without stopping.

Of course, I haven't gone running in six months. But that's beside the point.

Kai said...

You are ahead of me already, as I can't run at all. Soemtimes I trot when I walk, but it's for.. maaaaybeee... 5 seconds, if I'm lucky. I love what you said about perceptions of what others are thinking of you... THAT is exactly what I think when I'm working out outside, all those tearing-me-down snide comments I think people are thinking. I so need to realize that they aren't and if they are, who the F cares? Right? It's about ME. You go, girl!!